When Two Worlds Collide: Integrating Clinical and Didactic Learning

Monday, 18 November 2013: 2:25 PM

Diana L. Goodwin, RN, BSN
Melissa S. Leal, RN, BSN
School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Odessa, TX

Learning Objective 1: Discuss at least three methods used to integrate clinical and didactic learning in study groups.

Learning Objective 2: Identify two methods used to increase student engagement in learning.

As knowledge and technology rapidly increases, nurse educators must find ways to prepare student nurses to recognize patterns in health and illness allowing them to respond quickly to changing patient conditions.  Traditional teaching methods separating clinical and didactic learning are no longer sufficient.  Information presented in Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation supports the integration of clinical and didactic learning to go beyond critical thinking and build clinical reasoning better preparing nurses to provide competent, professional health care. (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010).

The purpose of this presentation is to present information gathered during Phase I of a pilot study designed to bridge the gap between clinical and didactic information in a traditional baccalaureate program.  During weekly study groups, a sample group of students participated in activities designed to foster development of clinical reasoning that included the use of concept maps, concept based simulations created with student input, care plans, and quizzes designed to prepare them for NCLEX.  Information presented will include program design, implementation, successes and challenges faced during Phase I, as well as recommended changes to be made for Phase II of the program.